Wednesday, January 23, 2013
I read the message from my sister, who is staying at my Dad's new house. It read "Good morning, we have no water :)"
The house is on a crawl space and requires a heat tape on the pipes to keep them from freezing. I knew what had happened right away. I dragged myself down the hall and found myself a few layers of clothing to put on. Since the house is rented, I called the landlord, who informed me there was about a hundred others in front of me and they would get to it as soon as they can. So out to the shed I went to look for some jugs to put some water in to take over there.
I stuck my head under the house to see how bad things were and to see if I could possibly just plug the heat tape in. That's when I noticed that the wire had been cut. This was definitely something the landlord would have to handle.
So since I was out and about with layers of clothing on, I thought I'd swing by my garage to do some maintenance on the hearses. I went in, figured out what parts I would need from the auto parts store and went shopping. When I returned to the garage, I pulled up to the computer controlled gate, waved my magic pass in front of it and it began to beep as it slid open. I drove my car through and pulled up to the garage door as the gate started to close. When the gate got to the fully closed position, the beep became a loud squeal. I thought to myself, "that's not normal", and didn't think much more about it. I did my repairs and was feeling proud of myself for taking care of things on such a cold day. I hopped back into my little car and pulled up to the gate that is supposed to open when you pull up to it. It just sat there squealing at me still.
Silly me never put the landlords phone number into my contacts and had to sit and go through all my recent calls for the last two months to see if I could find a number that I thought might be his. I finally found where he had called me from his personal phone back on our last big snow day. I dialed, hoping that it was the right number. It was. He answered and I explained that I was trapped inside and would like to go home. He told me that he can't go outside on cold days and didn't know what he could do for me! He had me climb the fence and try my pass at the outside controller. No luck. He then told me he'd call me back and hung up on me. I now had to climb back over the fence to get back to my warm car. I turned on the radio and waited listening to today's top hits. It was a half hour later when he called back with instructions for me.
I had to find the hidden box that had a combination lock to it. The box contained a key. That key opened the control panel that worked the gate. The loud squealing was coming from the control panel. So I'm talking to him on the phone with this squealing a foot away from my head. I then had to flip two switches in a particular order. Then find the hidden lever that releases the mechanical parts from the computerized parts. Once that was done, I could push the 400 pound gate open and free my car from it's prison. Leaving the gate in the open position, I returned all the parts and key to their original positions, climbed back into my warm car and made my way back to Dad's house. Still no water.
So what did I learn from all of this? I learned that with the landlords permission at the garage, I should keep that combination so I could get out if it ever happens again. And I'm still working on the water situation. I'm sure there's some big life lesson that I need to learn there. I just need to figure out what that is.
A couple hours later..... We finally have water! More than 12 hours later and service has been restored. Perhaps we'll keep some on hand in jugs in case something like this happens again. Or maybe we'll get it fixed so it won't happen.